Developing IBM Streams Applications with Python

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The IBM Streams Python Application API enables you to create streaming analytics applications in Python. The API is open source from the streamsx.topology project on GitHub.

About streaming applications

Streaming applications meet the need for continuous, real-time data processing. (This is in contrast to applications created for the Apache Hadoop framework, which are intended to terminate when a batch of data is processed.)

For example, consider an application that scans temperature sensors across the world to determine weather patterns and trends. Because there is always a temperature, the application needs to perpetually process the data and will potentially run indefinitely.

You can create such an application with the Streams Python API.

Streams Python API Features

The API supports:

You can use the Python Application API to define the structure of a streaming application using Python.

This development guide will show you how to create streaming applications using Python.

Where will the Streams Python application run?

Applications created with the IBM Streams Python API are executed on an instance of IBM Streams.

How can I get an instance of Streams?

There are several ways to get an instance of Streams:

  • Use the Streaming Analytics service running on IBM Cloud: The Streaming Analytics service is a cloud version of IBM Streams, so you don’t need to install Streams to build Python applications for the service. Create a free instance of the Streaming Analytics service here. The applications you create will run in the IBM Cloud.

  • Enable the IBM Streams add-on in IBM Cloud Pak for Data: IBM Streams is included as an add-on for IBM Cloud Pak for Data. Contact your administrator to enable the add-on. In Cloud Pak for Data v2.5, Streams can also be installed as a stand-alone deployment on Red Hat OpenShift or Kubernetes environments.

  • A local installation of the Streams runtime: Install version 4.2 or later of IBM Streams or the free Streams Quick Start Edition.

Which data sources are supported?

There are Python packages that provide support for common data sources like Apache Kafka or Hadoop File System.

See the adapters section for a list.

Get started

To get started with the Python Application API, follow the steps in the next section to install the API and create your first application.

More information


If you’re new to IBM Streams and want to learn more about the terms in this guide, see the IBM Streams glossary in IBM Knowledge Center.